Directed by Matt Ratner, Standing Up, Falling Down focuses primarily on struggling comedian Scott Rollins (Ben Schwartz), whom after ‘failing’ in the Los Angeles’ comedy circuit decides to moves back with his parents (Debra Monk, Kevin Dunn) in Long Island. Scott shortly develops a friendship with local barfly and dermatologist Marty (Billy Crystal). Through this ‘odd couple’ friendship, Scott gains a new perspective about his own personal life and career. Co-starring are the lovely Eloise Mumford as Scott’s ex-girlfriend Becky, and Grace Bummer as Scott’s sister Megan.
We meet Scott at a point in his life and career where he feels he has lost direction. He is unsure of how successful he can be at comedy after striking out in L.A. Moving back in with his parents and sister is demoralizing.
When Scott first meets Marty at the bar, Marty comes off as a joker and funny older man. As their unlikely friendship evolves, Scott learns about Marty’s alcoholism and his long struggle to reconcile with his children for past events. It is in their getting to know each other that Scott gains a new perspective on his current circumstances, while also gaining a trusted friend.
Standing Up, Falling Down does not introduce to any new story per se. We have seen this type of ‘odd couple or unlikely pair’ finding friendship and solace in the light of past or current failures.
Where the film charms and excels is in combining Scott and Marty’s individual stories with the friendship that evolves between. There are some genuinely funny and dramatic moments as this friendship grows. Not to mention the great back and forth between Scott and his sister Megan and her boyfriend Ruis (David Castañeda) — some laugh out loud moments. Schwartz’s comedic timing and his on-screen chemistry with Crystal and the supporting cast is what makes Standing Up, Falling Down memorable.
All photos courtesy of Unobstructed View.